Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Separation Anxiety~ April 29, 2014

I sat down to write this morning and found myself feeling horribly intimidated.  With our hectic schedule over the last couple of weeks combined with my allergy-induced fog, I have had very little time, much less ability to focus, in order to write anything worth reading.  I finally overcome the time restraint obstacle and get slapped in the face with a new one, fear.

When I am able to write on a consistent basis, I feel confident, not necessarily in myself, but in my connection with the Lord and the ability to discern His voice to what He’d have me to share with you all.  After essentially a two week sabbatical from writing, with a post or two tossed in for good measure, my worry is that I have lost that momentum that I once had in doing what I truly feel called to do.

And I am a little freaked.

It scares me to think that I could so easily lose the feeling of intimacy that I have with the Lord.  Life is busy, most likely always will be, but too busy to fellowship with my Creator?  Yikes.

Driving my kids to school, a Scripture came to mind, seemingly out of nowhere (wink, wink):

“Remain joined to me, and I will remain joined to you. No branch can bear fruit by itself. It must remain joined to the vine. In the same way, you can’t bear fruit unless you remain joined to me.”  (John 15:4 NIRV)

I hadn’t forgotten about the Lord during my busy season but I had certainly neglected my time with Him.  I believe that is why I felt scared to post today.  My lack of communication with God had me feeling fruitless, like I had become separated from Him to the point of losing the gift that He has given me to encourage through writing.  I was looking in rather than looking up, failing to remember that my help comes from the Lord.  I can’t do this writing thing on my own.  It’s by His grace alone that I am able to share my story, combined with His word, in order to lift up the downcast and brokenhearted through the power of a multi-faceted testimony.  The very next verse in John 15 goes on to say, “…apart from me, you can do nothing.”  Rather than see this as a belittling, you are nothing without me attitude, I see it as a promise that He is always with me and gives me the strength and skills to do things that could never be done within my own ability.

One simple word, vital to our strength

One simple word, vital to our strength

 

~My Life as a Ring Master~ April 24, 2014

I have oftentimes described my life as a circus.  Having 5 kids, this is a pretty spot on description as I tend to have to be in 3 places at the same time on any given day.

These last couple of weeks have exhausted me to the point of having little to no time to write and it is seriously weighing on me!  I get a little moody & snippy when I’m run down and even more so when I feel like I have to let something I love go to the wayside to make room for yet one more thing for someone else.  Man, I sound like a selfish whiny-pants, right?!

The reality is, my right now is only a season and that simple phrase has become my mantra, “this is only a season, this is only a season, THIS IS ONLY A SEASON!!!”

Sleep deprivation, overcrowded calendars and lack of me time can bring even the “super-i make everything from scratch-have boundless amounts of energy-mom” down.  I’m sure you can imagine what it does to this “super simple-poptart slingin-my butt is draggin without my coffee-mom”!!  So this morning, before I even sat up in bed, I prayed this little prayer, “Lord, help me today to focus on you and not my hectic schedule.  Remind me that this life is a gift, even in the busyness, and I should act accordingly and not like a bratty two-year old.  And one more thing Lord, give me the strength to perform each and every task I have committed myself to with excellence as unto you for it IS you who deserves all the credit.  Amen”

To my fellow overworked, underpaid, totally exhausted, baggy eyed mommas, I salute you.  We can do this for we can do ALL things through Christ who gives us strength.  (It doesn’t hurt to toss in a pot of coffee and some nutter butters to nudge things along, just sayin’)  May today be abundantly blessed, productive and our eyes be open to the beauty of the chaos.  Now, go do this thing!being a mom

 

 

~I’m Worn~ February 4, 2014

As you know from my previous post, this girl was dealing with some junk.  All of my demons that I thought I had under control decided to rear their hideously ugly heads in unison…they’re thoughtful like that.  So I made a break for it.

While I’m sure curiosity has gotten the best of some of you; the specifics of where I went, for how long, etc; those minor details have little to no bearing on what was accomplished in my time of solitude so keeping them to myself.

I do intend to share over time things that were revealed to me during the quiet, but I wanted you all to know where I started.

Worn.

I was worn.

There is one particular verse in the song I shared that sums it up:

I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I’m too weak
Life just won’t let up
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Crazy, isn’t it?  How can someone who seems to have it all together from the outside be a hot mess on the inside?!  That answer is easy, I like to call it repressor-itis, (not a word but it fits).  This would be the disease that takes over your life when you choose to cram all of your emotions, struggles & malfunctions down really deep where you think no one can see them, not even God.

I had somehow managed to place the most unrealistic expectations on my life all while convincing myself that it was everyone else who had set the demands.  The standard of excellence that I had was so high that I constantly found myself falling short, way short.  I felt like a failure, a liar and a hypocrite.  The worst part is that I was taking it out on everyone around me.  After all, it was their fault I felt this way.  That is when I knew that it was time for an intervention…with Jesus.

When I allowed myself to really stop and reflect on all of my baggage, I realized that the problem wasn’t everyone else, it was me.  And I didn’t like that, not at first anyway.  Admitting that the issues where internal was hard because it meant that I couldn’t place the blame on anyone other than me.  Then it was like a little light went off somewhere in the very deep, very dark recesses of my mind.  If the problem is within me, then it is within my ability to repair it.  With the help of the Lord, of course.  Because people let me tell you, this girl has so many major malfunctions that a team of shrinks, pastors and self-help gurus would flee if they caught a glimpse of all the crazy that’s going on in my head.  But Jesus, He’s got this.  There is not one thing about me that He can’t handle.

And for the first time in a long time, I breathed a little easier.  Do I feel like the battle is over, um, no.  I do believe that the worst is behind me.  I must admit that I was terrified to be alone at first, I was scared of what I might discover.  Here comes the kicker.  What I discovered is that I kind of like me.  Not the me that I try to convince everyone that I am, the “I-got-it-all-figured-out-church-lady-who-never-needs-anything-from-anyone.”  I’m talking about the real me that most people have never seen.  You know what else I remembered?  I enjoy reading…and dancing…and singing…and letting the sun hit my face just right…and listening to silence…and laughing, out loud!  And I didn’t feel guilty, not one bit, that I can enjoy being away from my kids.

So, in a nutshell, there it is.  The truth.  You may be a little disappointed to know these things about me.  Or maybe you will feel a little liberated yourself.  Because if “super mom”, (as some of you nut jobs have dubbed me), can be a bit more forgiving of herself, then maybe you can too.

For those of you who have been crazy with worry…it’s ok…I’m back 🙂  A new and improved version of the girl you thought was long gone.

“Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.  You will increase my honor and comfort me once more.”

(Psalm 71:20-21 NIV)

 

~My Name~ July 30, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 1:02 pm
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Today is my birthday! If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, then you know that I have recently looked up the name meanings of my children and when their birthdays roll around, I share it with you. So I thought for fun, that I would look up my name too. My name is Valerie Deaune (pronounced Dion…like the football player). Valerie means to be strong and Deaune means divine.
When I first read ‘to be strong’ I thought, “that is so not me.” First of all I don’t look strong physically. Secondly, I am usually the girl that can’t hold it together when she hears something sad. I am a cry baby.
Then I got to thinking about some of the things that I’ve been through in my 32 years and realized that I’m probably a lot stronger than I think. Strength doesn’t necessarily mean that you can handle whatever life throws at you without batting an eye. To me it means you get through the struggles and pains, complete with battle scars & war stories because strength means to endure and I have certainly done that. I have endured an absentee parent, emotionally abusive relationships, the loss of a child, the debilitating sickness of yet another child, fighting for my children when their BM broke their hearts…not to mention the daily battles that women face every. single. day. So, yeah, maybe I am kinda strong.

Divine was what really threw me for a loop because it means to be “of, from or like God.” All I could see was the word ‘like’ and it was tripping me up! Zoom in on the middle word though…from. Now THAT I am! I am from God.  That put a smile on my face!

vals fam

I am one blessed woman 🙂